The Startup Page in Word 2013-2019/365 and How To Get Rid of It
  (or bring it back if you lost it)

by Charles Kyle Kenyon, Esq.

Last updated Tuesday 03 January 2023.

Comments are welcome.


Introduction. This page came about as a response to someone who asked on the Word Answers Forum about how to see templates when they started a new document in Word 2013. After a bit of confusion it turned out that the problem they were having was the Startup Page. What is shown below is the default Startup Page or Start Screen.

This has several nice features and you may want to give it a chance. It will provide a short list of your recent documents and you can get a blank document by clicking on "Blank Document." Personally, I do not care for it and got rid of it as quickly as I could figure out how to do so.

You get rid of it under File > Options > General by unchecking an option box. If you change your mind, you can always go back and check it again.

Once you have changed it, click on OK. I would suggest closing and reopening Word to make sure that what you get is what you want.

Another distressing thing (for me) about Word 2013-2019(365) is that it makes the user jump through hoops to get to custom templates, even with the Startup screen disabled. I do most of my work using custom templates that I have designed. In earlier versions of Word reaching these templates was much easier. If you would like to have quick access to your custom templates you can put an icon on the quick access toolbar or otherwise customize your version of Word. See File New Variations in the Versions of Microsoft Word.

Below is a version of the Startup Screen after the user has designated a location for user templates and for workgroup templates. This gives two buttons (that look like text) for Featured and Custom templates. Featured templates are those built into Word, Custom templates are the User and Workgroup Templates.

You may see different words, or as in the first screen shown, no words here. My thanks to this Wiki article for the explanation for the variations in what shows up. You might see "Featured," "Custom," "Personal," or "Shared."


If you have not defined any custom template locations (user or workgroup) you will see none of these words in quotation marks.


If it says "Custom" that means you have designated a folder as your Workgroup Templates folder and a folder as your Custom Office Templates folder. If you click on "Custom" it gives you the user templates folder and Workgroup Templates folder instead of the Microsoft templates. These folders are treated separately, not combined, and the view you get when you open one is different in that you cannot manipulate the templates on your computer from this dialog, only start a new document based on a template.


If it says "Private" that means that you have not designated any folder as the Workgroup Templates folder and clicking on "Private" will give you a view of the templates in your Custom Office Templates Folder like that shown below in Figure 2013-3. (I think. It may simply give you another folder to click on like one of those shown below.)


If it says "Shared" that means you have defined a Workgroup templates folder but not a Custom Office Templates folder.


If it says "Featured" you have not defined either the Custom Office Templates Folder nor the Workgroup Templates Folder.

You can also have a (classic) dialog that combines your custom (user and workgroup) templates in a tabbed dialog with smaller icons or lists of templates that let you see more templates at once. See File New Variations in the Versions of Microsoft Word.

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